In order to “assist in the teaching of current affairs.”

It must be a hoax. Right?

Teaching packs entitled 9/11: The Main Chance, which invite pupils to imagine organising a terrorist attack, have been distributed to schools running the Government’s much-vaunted citizenship classes.

One worksheet asks the pupils to imagine what terrorist targets there are in their neighbourhoods. They have then to suggest what weapons and methods should be used to ensure the most effective results.

At the end of the worksheets, which are funded through the Government’s neighbourhood renewal programmes, a number of links to other terrorism-related articles are listed including one on food terrorism and how fast-food chains, for example, could be attacked. Another article is headlined “How safe is our water?” A series of links to websites on the September 11 atrocity, in which 2,986 people were killed when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed four planes, are also listed on the worksheets.

Sounds bad, but don’t worry. The material is impeccably sourced:

Many of the sites [listed on the worksheets] propound outlandish conspiracy theories on the atrocity including the suggestion that the American military shot down flight United 93.

Another link takes pupils to a website which suggests that Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, directed the attacks, while another “news” website the worksheets encourage pupils to visit includes references to images of Satan appearing in smoke over the Twin Towers on September 11.

A lefty bureaucrat interviewed by the Times says it’s appropriate to examine the motives of extremist groups — which, in light of the course material, in this case presumably means Halliburton. But laying aside the fact that the class seems less concerned with the why than the how-to of terrorism, I’d gently suggest that while the study of root causes is a fine idea, it is, let us say, perhaps not the highest use to which a citizenship class might be put.

Which brings us to the punchline. The British minister for higher education endorsed citizenship classes last year after 7/7 as a way of assimilating Muslim immigrants by inculcating a stronger sense of British identity. But according to one of the creators of 9/11: The Main Chance, the course packs are mainly in use across the borough of Waltham Forest. Which happens to be, as of 2001, disproportionately Muslim.

I’ll leave you with Times columnist Mick Hume, who read through the course material and says it’s not pro-Al Qaeda — and not pro- anything else, either.